Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Could Be Wrong...

I Could Be Right...

One of the cutest Pistols fans you'll see anywhere.

John Lydon has a birthday today. He is an old sod. Older than me even.
Happy Birthday Johnny Rotten

May the road rise to you
May the road rise to you
May the road rise to you

Thanks for the pic BAMF

Friday, January 26, 2007

Half-Ass Motivation

This is a long post and as I am usually pretty brief with this blogging thing, I have failed to modify the CSS so I can hide the long winded part. It is now on the to-do list.

I attended the Peter Lowe "Get Motivated" seminar at the Philips arena in Atlanta last Thursday. I left at noon so I guess I only got half-assed motivated. If you have never been to one of these events, try to picture a Nuremberg rally for unbridled optimistic capitalism. Now, I am not invoking Godwin's law here by comparing any of the presenters to Hitler nor any of the attendees to Nazis so please don't get me wrong. I am referring only to the size and pageantry of the event, the enthusiasm of the speakers and the fanatical devotion of the attendees. I couldn't help but think of Triumph of the Will by Leni Riefenstahl. If you, dear reader, feel offended by this comparison, I apologize but my frame of reference for large public rallies is somewhat limited as I have always stayed far away from crowded events - unless the Ramones were playing. I miss the Ramones.

I caught the Marta train from the North Springs station so I would not have to participate in the shitstorm we call gridlock that accompanies every large event occurring during the working week in downtown Atlanta. I don't know why more folks didn't catch the train. It wasn't the least bit crowded and there is a station right there at Philips Arena. Marta stories are usually way cooler than traffic stories too but this ride was mercifully uneventful.

Michael Eisner was the first speaker. He had a cool slide show and his talk was very informative and interesting. He praised effective micro management - which is something very few execs have the balls to do - and had great advice about managing creative people and focusing on the minute details of a project in order to make it stand out from the competition. Eisner has a pretty controversial approach to management and he has a lot of very vocal critics but if any were in attendance I didn't hear them over the applause and loud music as he left the podium.

The second speaker was Zig Ziglar. Words fail me here. I will try to write about this later.

Up next - and I could not believe this. He must have had an early tee-time somewhere - Rudy Giuliani. I expected that he would be one of the carrots they use to keep everyone in the building while the hucksters lesser-known motivational speakers peddled their books, tapes and software. And here he was under the spotlights before 11:00 a.m. Ernest Hemingway once said that "Courage is grace under pressure" and I only drag out the entire quote because some people think that is was Geddy Lee.

Anyway, when it comes to living examples of grace under pressure, Giuliani comes to mind because of his handling of the September 11th attacks. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job under those circumstances. Now this is a guy who had a lot of very vocal critics before that day and they are damned hard to find now. Politics aside, He is a very good speaker and has a firm grasp on what Americans (and not just his fellow republicans) want to hear about leadership during these interesting times. I pity the person who has to run against him for any future political position he happens to want. I am not endorsing him, mind you, just stating the obvious. People will always remember The Rudy Giulliani who held New York together in a time of extreme fear and confusion and they will remember how crime decreased dramatically under his watch far longer than they will remember his art criticism or where he dumped his garbage.

The guy who followed Giulliani was selling a get rich relatively quick in the stock market plan. I left during his spiel for lunch. The only big names left on the bill were Larry King (via satellite), John Smoltz and Colin Powell - who once got a little pissed at me because I didn't have a single can of Pledge furniture polish in the entire bookstore. That story can wait for some other time too.

I wasn't up to going back inside the filled- to-capacity arena so I took the train out of the enthusiasm and went back to work. I hate rabid throngs of my countrymen and have a low tolerance for motivation it seems. Who knew, eh?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

When Worlds Collide...

Henry Rollins interviews Werner Herzog.

Ve are going to have un TV Party! Alright!!!

One of my favorite djs interviews one of my favorite directors.

Too cool.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Day Robert Anton Wilson Told Me To Fight The Power

Way back in late 1991 I think it was, I attended the Phenomicon Alternative Sci-Fi Convention in Atlanta. I had a part time job at Oxford Books in Buckhead at the time and a coworker there was helping the convention organizers with volunteers. As I had plenty of security/law enforcement experience I was given a pass in exchange for doing some minor security work. This work consisted of chaperoning a dance and standing around looking mean, sober, and responsible. I was relatively new to the sober and responsible aspects of the job but it turns out I didn’t have to do any bouncing as everyone was exceedingly well behaved. Paranoia does that to people and some of these folks believed that they had been abducted by aliens and/or were being spied upon by our government. For you youngsters, being spied upon by our government wasn’t a given back then.

I had the pleasure of meeting and mingling with several of the speakers and featured guests. Immediately after being introduced, a very senior member of a “satirical postmodern religion” hit me up for some weed before being gently informed by an organizer of a book signing that I was in fact a state parole officer and that his request should be handled in a more discrete manner. He seemed relieved that I didn’t attempt to arrest him and he giggled madly at his faux pas.

Anyway, I met Robert Anton Wilson who was one of the most popular speakers at the event and I asked him to sign a relatively obscure work called “Natural Law or Don’t Put a Rubber on Your Willy”. He signed it with a line from a popular song of the day – which is now an anthem for some and a mantra for others:

Fight The Power

On January 11th of this year he passed away. He had been in ill health lately and remarked in his blog a week before he died: "Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd."

He had another recent blog post about death which contained this anecdote:

Wavy Gravy once asked a Zen Roshi, "What happens after death?"
The Roshi replied, "I don't know."
Wavy protested, "But you're a Zen Master!"
"Yes," the Roshi admitted, "but I'm not a dead Zen Master."

Here’s to Robert Anton Wilson - writer, philosopher, and dead Zen master.
R.I.P. R.A.W.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

What I did on my Christmas Vacation...

I spent money I didn't exactly have.
I drove all over the state of Georgia.
I purchased a severed and dying tree then had my family humiliate the forest spirits by adorning it with with shiny objects and blinking lights.
I listened to people sing a song about extorting figgy pudding and refusing to leave the premises until said transaction was completed.
I gave away a bunch of cool stuff.
I received a bunch of cool stuff.
I celebrated the birth of Christ with my family.
I failed to consume enough alcohol to make celebrating the birth of Christ with my family a painless event.
I constructed a computer out of components I got on sale at Fry's
I cussed Fry's up one side and down the other
I sent a Sex Pistols garment to a six month old baby
I wasn't investigated by DFACS
I celebrated the new year
I downloaded MediaMonkey
I failed to update this blog for damn near a month
When I did update, I didn't have much to say.

I'll do better this year.

Apocalypse Pooh

Near random youtube links count as blog posts, right?